The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a flowering plant in the daisy family native to North America and Central America. Sunflowers as a snack food are consumed both as the whole seed in-shell, and as a hulled kernel. Both forms are eaten either raw (pasteurized), roasted and salted, or roasted unsalted. Sunflower kernels are used in a wide variety of snack foods and baked goods including trail mixes, bars, granola, breads, and muffins. They are also a popular salad topping and are increasingly being used as a nut butter substitute due to being allergen-free.